Friday, December 30, 2011

"Gal" Friday! Devon

I think that I'm in love!

I wanted to end this year with an anonymous "gal" Friday selection to represent the many luscious ladies (of all ages) that every horn-dog on the planet sees on television, in the movies, in print, or just strolling by on any given day somewhere in the world.  I recently spotted this awesome photo over at Model Mayhem and, well, at this moment if I had a lucky wish to make, it would be to vanish to some deserted (but tropical) island with this sultry, young brunette lady. Yeah, that's just what she needs, right? A slobbering old codger, and all the time in the world to get used to his sad cravings; just not gonna happen.

Alas, I can't actually make that fantasy a reality, and she's damned lucky that's the case. Anyway take a gander at "Devon" and with much respect to the original photographer, the Model Mayhem website, and the exquisite model herself; I hope that all of you have a very happy new years celebration this weekend. Aloha!

The Catacombs 2011 Year End Recap!!

Before 2011 ends with a whimper, I would like to take a moment to thank some of the fine folks who've helped make this year quite memorable for the Comic Book Catacombs. Several publishers/manufacturers allowed me to present early previews or glimpses at some of their upcoming books, toys and other properties so here's to Tommy Hancock/Moonstone; Gerald Cooper/InVision; Stefan Blitz/NBM; Ed Catto/CA Enterprises; Chris Irving/Hermes Press, and Mark Ross/Curse of the Phantom Shadow. Guys, I really appreciated having an opportunity to show off your goods.

This year among all the bevvy of Hollywood beauties that appeared in my regular “Gal” Friday featurette, a single lass allowed me to "officially" introduce all of you to her. Thanks, Riddle! You're one of the best cos-players on the convention circuit, and it's always great seeing you at the regional shows that I attend. Artist Bridgit Scheide was the only actual creator interview that I ran this year, something that I regret, but I was being a tad lazy (so that's on me). Thanks, Bridgit! And thanks also to artist Juan Pedro Quilón for special contributions. You "guys" were terrific!

The world of entertainment lost a number of faces that were familiar to genre geeks. 2011 saw the passing of Anne Francis, Susannah York, Michael Gough, Elisabeth Sladen, William Campbell, Jackie Cooper, Yvette Vickers, Jeff Conaway, James Arness, Cliff Robertson, and recently Cheeta the Chimpanzee. Sadly for us comic book fans, many of the old guard and several talented younger creators (see above) were lost this year. Let's never forget the timeless contributions of legendary artists such as Dwayne McDuffie, Jeffrey Catherine Jones, Gene Colan, Lew Sayre Schwartz, Dave Hoover, Jerry Robinson, Joe Simon, and Eduardo Barreto.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all of the folks over in my links section for posting so many classic comic book stories and related items. It's become a daily pleasure to stop by your blogs and see what's going on there; plus to everyone who frequents my own little blog - thank you so much. I'm glad that you find something of worth here to bring you back time and again. Here are a few interesting factoids about the Comic Book Catacombs: The Comic Book Catacombs has roughly 7,062 monthly visitors, viewing on average 1.30 page views per session. That equates to between 235-257 daily visitors. United States visitors account for approximately 41% of my readership and almost 68% of my page views. Visitors from other countries account for approximately 58.50% of my readership and another 31.40% of my page views. Apparently my websites estimated value is $17,581.44. I can live with that!

Here's to us all, as we slide forward into the Mayan "year of doom", 2012. Don't forget to celebrate Christmas a few days early next year, or you may miss out. Just kidding! Maybe. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wambi the Jungle Boy in "The White Elephant" (Fiction House;1941)

Wambi the Jungle Boy had an innate ability to communicate with the lower order, even when the animals made no sound at all. In fact, Wambi's best friends were an Indian-variety elephant named Tawn, and Ogg the Gorilla. All three appear in an untitled tale written by Roy S. Smith that I’ve dubbed "The White Elephant" from Jungle Comics #16 (Apr.1941); originally published by Fiction House, alongside Shikkar the Tiger, Reynar the Wolf and the Rajah of Kaahki. The elephant cub in this story is supposed to be white, but the poor thing is colored gray throughout. The artwork is by Henry Kiefer. The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Memorium: Cheeta the Chimp

A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheeta the chimpanzee sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s has died at age 80. The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor announced that Cheeta died Dec. 24 of kidney failure. Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb told The Tampa Tribune on Wednesday that Cheeta was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh. She says he seemed to be tuned into human feelings.

Based on the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, the Tarzan stories, which have spawned scores of books and films over the years, chronicle the adventures of a man who was raised by apes in Africa. Cheeta was the comic relief in the Tarzan film series that starred American Olympic gold-medal swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. Cobb says Cheeta came to the sanctuary from Weissmuller's own estate sometime around 1960. Cobb says Cheeta wasn't a troublemaker. Still, sanctuary volunteer Ron Priest says that when the chimp didn't like what was going on, he would throw feces. That is hilarious (and so in character from his famous films). I'm glad that Cheeta lived to a ripe old age, and like many of you saddened to hear of his passing.

The Face in "General Lee-Ahng" (Columbia;1945)

Here is an interesting golden age adventure with a twist from Big Shot #61 (Nov.1945);originally published by Columbia. The Face (sort of) stars in "General Lee-Ahng", written and illustrated by Mart Bailey and Ogden Whitney. Following up from a previous issue where journalist Tony Trent (in a rare cameo role) had decided to rid himself of the fright mask that he had worn in his heroic role as "The Face", just tosses the thing out the window during a flyover of occupied China, and another person decides to make use of the item. Great artwork on this one (and there's still a nice Skyman tale from this publisher coming up this weekend). Enjoy!

From the Dust Bin: 1963 (Image Comics)

1963 was a six-issue comic book limited series written by Alan Moore in 1993, with art provided by his frequent collaborators Steve Bissette, John Totleben, and Rick Veitch; plus other contributors including Dave Gibbons, Don Simpson, and Jim Valentino. The six issues hearkened back to the Silver Age of comics (particularly, early Marvel Comics), and featured spoof advertisements on the rear covers.

Moore's homage to Marvel cliches included fictionalizing himself and the artists as the "Sixty-Three Sweatshop", describing his collaborators in the same hyperbolic and alliterative mode Stan Lee used for his "Marvel Bullpen"; each was given a Lee-style nickname ("Affable Al," "Sturdy Steve," "Jaunty John," etc.—Veitch has since continued to refer to himself as "Roarin' Rick"). The parody was not entirely affectionate, as the text pieces and fictional letter columns contained pointed inside jokes about the business practices of 1960s comic book publishers, with "Affable Al" portrayed as a tyrant who claimed credit for his employees' creations. Moore also made reference to Lee's book Origins of Marvel Comics (and its sequels) when Affable Al recommended that readers hurry out and buy his new book “How I Created Everything All By Myself” and “Why I Am Great”. Funny stuff!
Issue one introduced Mystery Incorporated, a Fantastic Four surrogate featuring Crystal Man, Neon Queen, Kid Dynamo and The Planet. Issue two featured The Fury; based on Spider-Man, as well as Sky Solo, Lady of L.A.S.E.R., a female version of Nick Fury. Issue three, an anthology comic called Tales of the Uncanny, featured USA, Ultimate Special Agent based on Captain America, and Hypernaut, who was based on Iron Man. Issue four, another anthology comic called Tales From Beyond, introduced readers to the Unbelievable N-Man, based on The Incredible Hulk, and Johnny Beyond, a beatnik version of Doctor Strange. Issue five was devoted to Horus, Lord of Light, based on The Mighty Thor. Issue six told the story of the Tomorrow Syndicate, based on the Avengers. This comic brought together Horus, Lord of Light, Hypernaut, N-Man, and USA, and also introduced Infra-Man and Infra-Girl, based on Ant-Man & the Wasp.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rulah Jungle Goddess in "The White Death" (Fox;1948)

Rulah Jungle Goddess pits her might against a villain billed as "Walking Death Boy" in a golden age adventure called "The White Death" from All Top Comics #14 (Nov.1948); originally published by Fox Feature Syndicate and illustrated by Jack Kamen. The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Skyman in "The Purloined Jade Necklace" (Columbia;1945)

Well, I certainly hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. My brother David, surprise-gifted me with fifteen Silver Age issues of "Green Lantern" (see above; thanks Dave), so I picked another classic hero from slightly further back to fill today's post.  Skyman stars in "The Purloined Jade Necklace" from Big Shot #61 (Nov.1945); originally published by Columbia. The GCD credits "Ed Mortiz" as artist, but I wonder if the guys real name isn't actually Ed Moritz. The latter version I've heard of as an inker at least. Who knows? Jungle stuff returns tomorrow, but I've got one last Skyman adventure in the queue; so expect that story this week too.

Friday, December 23, 2011

"Gal" Friday! Jingle Belle

Although I supposedly "swore" off of live Christmas trees last year, I caved. It only took a few days, but the stealth Triffid otherwise known as a Fraser fir finally tail-gunned my sinuses. I've been wallowing in "les miserable" since mid-week and semi-hating on my three grown children for cajoling me into this for the holidays - yet again. No more! I swear.
As is, I hadn’t given much thought to who this weeks “gal” Friday selection could possibly be; too many to choose from – as always. So, I’m calling a late Friday afternoon audible for the impending holiday weekend and going with Jingle Belle the cutie pie cartoon character created by Paul Dini. She's Santa Claus' spoiled teen-age daughter, whose stories depict Jingle's usually contentious relationship with her famous father.

The character has been featured in a variety of comic book mini-series and one-shots (all written by Dini) and also in a series of animated shorts (available on She has been the subject of lots-o merchandise too, including a Jingle Belle statue, a Christmas ornament, a lunch box, and a t-shirt, featuring artwork by Bill Morrison. Illustrators who have brought her to life at Oni Press & Top Cow have included Morrison, Stephen DeStefano, J. Bone, Sergio Aragonés and Stephanie Gladden. The image (above) is by Greg Horn.

Merry Christmas to all!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Worldbeater & Unggh in "Paradise Lost" (Prize;1945)

It has been quite a while since I posted additional adventures of this odd trio of characters Worldbeater, Unggh and Jo-Blo from Prize Comics golden age series, Headline Comics #15 (Sept-Oct. 1945). This tale follows our wacky trio who encounter a race of Gopher People in the wastes of Mars. The artwork by August Froehlich is a bit marred by the relatively poor quality of these scans, but it’s the holidays – so forgive me. Despite the seemingly abrupt ending, this is the entire published story.

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or the creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Og, Son of Fire ... final adventures (Dell;1937)

Three for Tuesday! The serialized adventures of creator/writer/editor Irving Crump's "Og, Son of Fire", concludes this week with three back-to-back strips from The Funnies #12, #13 and #14 (Sept-Oct-Nov.1937); originally published by Dell. Artist Stephen Slesinger provides illustrations that are re-purposed in color from an original black & white 1936 Big Little Book version copyrighted to Slesinger. Dell serialized "Og, Son of Fire" in issues of "The Funnies" from January to November of 1937 (comprising issues 4-14 in two page snippets). Hope you enjoyed this esoteric run of strips!

The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: the copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nyoka the Jungle Girl in "The Voodoo Drums of Death" (Fawcett;1945)

Chapter  I: "Death Is The Pilot
Chapter II: "Shark Island"
Chapter III: "Voodoo Hoodoo"
Chapter IV: "Dinner Music--for Cannibals"
Nyoka the Jungle Girl #2 was the first issue of her ongoing Fawcett Comics series, after her long and successful run in Master Comics. Her self-titled series ran until #76 (June 1953). There was a previously published #1 issue featuring Nyoka, but it was a 1942 Fawcett Comics one-shot simply called "Jungle Girl". The artwork for this terrific full-issue tale called "The Voodoo Drums of Death" is by the team of Rod Reed and Harry Anderson. Nyoka's comic book adventures tended to follow a specific pattern, always broken up into chapters like the cliffhanger serials that were popular at the movies during the golden age of Hollywood; not surprising since the character got her start in the cinema, too. The four parts of this exciting story are "Death is the Pilot"; "Shark Island"; "Voodoo Hoodoo"; and "Dinner Music--for Cannibals". The Catacombs is grateful to Don "Zu-Gogo" Falkos for providing the scans for this story. Note: The copyright for this issue, its contents and artwork belong to the original publisher and/or creators and is reproduced here solely for entertainment purposes. Enjoy!